The lecture halls are empty, people are working from home, and student associations are very quiet right now. Some of you may have had your practical lessons cancelled or are applying for the few internships that are still running. The past few months have been tough for all of us, and we’re still in the thick of it. The measures to combat the spread of the virus are necessary but drastically affect our daily lives. Whether catching up in the library or at the pub, discovering the city together with new friends, your part-time job, or that planned internship: all of this has been put on hold.
That’s why I’m writing to you, to offer you support. It is absolutely normal for you to feel lonely, gloomy, or uncertain now and then. But if these feelings persist, whether or not related to the current pandemic crisis, they could lead to bigger problems. So, my main advice is this: talk about it. Ask how other people are doing. Be kinder to each other during these times, and look for ways to connect safely. This situation has reinforced how much we need each other, so don’t be afraid to talk about your vulnerabilities.
If you’re struggling to do so, know that there’s always someone to listen to you at @Ease. This is a place that you can always go to for a chat, at no cost. You can remain anonymous and discuss any topic. Please have a look at their website and tell each other about this service: https://ease.nl/. Of course, you can also contact your mentor, career or study counsellor, dean, or your GP’s primary care assistant practitioner for young people. There is also online support available via jongerenhulponline.nl and from various support groups on social media. If you want to help someone else, get out of the rut, and connect with others, please see Maastricht Doet en Ontmoet, Serve the City, or Activitree Maastricht for more information.
I wish you all the best in these difficult times. Keep your distance and stay strong – we will meet again when it’s safe.
Municipal Executive for Education, Youth Care, Student City Programme, and Sport.